Sector News

What makes up a total leadership package?

September 6, 2019
Borderless Leadership

Financial results are the leadership metric that gets the most attention, but here’s what the ‘total package’ of leadership results looks like. ‘What a great job he’s done!’ ‘She must be one of the best CEOs in the industry!’ “We’re lucky he agreed to come on board when he did!” You’ve heard remarks like that before and maybe uttered the same a few times yourself, but what inspires us to say such things? It could be because a highly skilled leader took the helm and set an enterprise back on course, it could be because an executive led a business to new heights and of course, it could be that an individual transformed a great idea into a thriving fast-track startup.

Do they all have leadership attributes in common? You bet! Money is the most attention-getting measure of their leadership, you know, metrics like profits/profitability, growth, share price, shareholder equity and more. All are important, some critical; dollars are the first way to keep ‘score.’ But, because of the influence they have on the sustainability of an enterprise, other leadership results deserve equal weight. Some are penned more often than others; here are but a few of those results that I admire most.

  • A leadership structure committed to perpetuating the enterprise beyond itself; putting the enterprise first and you second usually benefits both. Not so true for the reverse!
  • An orderly and well planned process of succession. Simply ‘sponsoring’ who’s next in line just doesn’t do it. Formal development tracks, coaching and mentoring have a much higher probability of success.
  • An organizational structure intentionally designed to discourage silos and instead promote cross functional team support.
  • A willingness to invest in the future even if it means constraining short term results. Not always understood or willingly accepted, definitely easier to do in privately or closely controlled enterprises and always worth communicating the rationale for doing same.
  • A culture of inclusion with pride—what more can be said!
  • The shared values of dignity and respect for all.
  • An embedded and habitual system of both internal and external governance; history shows that success can be achieved operating within the margins!
  • A true purpose in serving customers and clients. If winning is instead defined as ‘besting’ others, shallow victories become the prize.
  • An unyielding focus on continuous improvement; there is no finish line.
  • An uninhibited flow of ideas and soft landings for those that are not adopted. A most admired CEO expression…‘I try to hire people that are smarter than me.’
  • An environment where a willingness to say ‘I was wrong’ is not viewed as a sign of weakness but is supported as a teachable moment rather than a confession of guilt.
  • An unwavering commitment to community, in service and, where possible, financial support.

I’ve been inside well over one hundred enterprises. Most all were focused on the metrics but also pursed the ‘total package’ leadership results listed above. From both my observation and my personal experience, doing so is not always easy, but doing so almost inevitably improves the ‘score!’ Adverse economic conditions, predatory competitors and changing market dynamics can all distract, and when they do, is it worth it to stay the course? Customers, employees and shareholders would likely agree…an ecumenical approach to leadership has its own rewards.

Lesson learned.

By Fred Engelfried

Source: Chief Executive

comments closed

Related News

May 26, 2024

Five steps to strengthening peer relationships in the workplace

Borderless Leadership

Imagine walking into an office where everyone is engaged, collaboration flows effortlessly, and employees genuinely enjoy working together. This isn’t a utopian fantasy—it’s the reality of organizations that prioritize strong peer relationships.

May 17, 2024

For CEOs, the future is a state of mind

Borderless Leadership

As leader, you should be focused on seven interlocking business domains: the corporate portfolio, innovation, supply chains, sustainability, technology, capital and liquidity, and talent. To deliver long-term profitable growth across these domains, you’ll need to be decisive and unsentimental, experimental and ambitious, prudent, and patient. And above all, you’ll need to be persistent.

May 11, 2024

The Art of Delegation

Borderless Leadership

Do not let “But it is easier if I do it myself!” become your mantra. Delegation provides the opportunity for managers to show confidence in their employees and talents. It shows that managers believe in the decision making skills of their employees. This builds a stronger level of trust as a whole within the company.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach